Seattle's Construction Climate by Decisive Data
06-15-2017 16:46 PM
06-15-2017 04:46 PM
Most of the world is well aware that Seattle is on the up-and-up. Pick up a local newspaper and you'll find stories on emerging tech companies, articles on incoming investments, and rants on raising rent prices. Better yet… peer through the window of your favorite coffee shop and count the number of cranes on the horizon - it's magnificent!
I was curious to learn whether this growth could be captured and presented visually, and what type of dataset could support this. Shortly after, I stumbled upon the Seattle Building Permits dataset from data.seattle.gov (an excellent repository for data geeks).
Building permit data offers a sneak preview into the future of Seattle's construction climate. A few easy graphics can quickly paint the picture of growth. But what if we took the dashboard a step further and looked at the data through the eyes of someone directly involved in the industry? What types of questions would a salesman or contractor want to answer? What types of insights could they glean?
Perhaps you're a construction salesman researching prospective sites… maybe you're a contractor investigating the competition's strategy… you may even be a CEO deciding how to pivot your business. Whatever position you hold, this dashboard is meant to empower you to understand the market while enabling you to drill down into the details and research specific events.
Efficient analysis typically begins with a few key questions that provide initial framework and focus the mind. The goal of this dashboard is to reasonably deduct answers to the following questions:
Building Climate Overview Tab (from top to bottom)
- Is the pace and amount of investment increasing with time? (See top bar chart)
- Is investment concentrated in specific locations? How is concentration affected by Category, Contractor, or Individual? (See map)
- What is the status of the market, given my parameters? (See Highlighted Metrics Section)
- Which categories, individuals, and permits are leading the market? (See middle bar charts)
Contractor Competition Tab
- Are deal amounts and frequency trending up? (See top line chart)
- Which contractors are leading the market (based on quantity, size, and value)? (See middle bar charts)
Category Growth Tab
- Which categories are leading the market (based on quantity, size, and average value)? (See left bar charts)
- What is the Total Value growth trend and permit status? (See line and bar chart)
The underlying dataset is simple in nature and didn't require much manipulation to get the dashboard off the ground. Thus, the focused is shifted from the complexities of the data to the design elements and visual flow of the dashboard. The ultimate goal is for the dashboard to be attractive, intuitive, and easily understood. With these pillars in place, work insights become interesting and easy to find!
To operate the Dashboard, please complete the following steps:
- Select the parameters that fit your circumstances. The filterable fields are defined below.
- Permit Status: The current status in the application/review/inspection lifecycle. Indicates the last process step that was fully completed.
- Category: The broad category of use or occupancy for the building where work is proposed. Valid choices are Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, Multifamily, and Single Family/Duplex. Mixed use structures are generally represented as Commercial.
- Permit Type: Type of activity covered by the permit (Construction, Demolition, or Site Development)
- Contractor: Contractor(s) who are associated with a given permit.
Adjust the time frame using the top slider bar.
You'll notice that this slider corresponds to the bar chart below, representing the value of the deals in a given timeframe.
08-17-2017 03:24 PM
Great reports! Is your jursidiction using this? I have a hard time getting decision makers to understand the power of this kind of tool. I also, work for local government.
08-17-2017 03:28 PM
Great visuals! How are your leaders using this dashboard. I work for local government and have a hard time getting decisions makers to use interactive visuals.
01-08-2018 11:50 AM
Hi @mlcollins - as far as I know, nobody is using this dashboard. I created it purely out of personal interest, for the sake of practice. Do you work in the Seattle area? If so, I'm happy to connect.